JS46 Walk behind mower - will it vacuum/pickup leaves?: Garden Tractors -- John Deere  -- Lawn and Garden Tractors Discussion Forum and Review JS46 Walk behind mower - will it vacuum/pickup leaves?: Garden Tractors -- John Deere -- Lawn and Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Garden Tractors -- John Deere Forum

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 06-05-2010, 09:02 Post: 171344
carusoswi



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 JS46 Walk behind mower - will it vacuum/pickup leaves?

Last week, when my 20-year old Lawnboy 6431 would not start, I relented in a combination of exhaustion (from pulling the starter rope) and frustration, and went out on a whim to Lowes to look for a new mower since my grass really needed cutting.

I have an old Yardman rider, but it has sat idle with an internal engine problem that I have yet to address over the last couple of years.

As is my habit, I always take a quick look at whatever machines are chained up outside the Lowes as I enter. This time, I spotted what looked to be a handsome John Deere walk-behind on sale for $250 (down from its $499 list price).

Long story short, since most of that equipment is simply displayed inside the store with a list of features/specifications, there was no way to tell which mowers really offered which benefits to me. They all cut grass. No real info on what else they can do.

I was bent on getting something in order to cut my grass that day, anyhow, so, to make a long story short, I figured for $250, the Deere was well worth a try.

Normally, I would have chuckled at the notion of an electric start non-rider mower. But the fatigue in my arm from six hours of intermittent attempts to start my suddenly stubborn Lawnboy tempered my disdain. It was a pleasure to simply turn the key and have that new JS46 start right up.

For cutting grass, this mower was, as expected, more than adequate, and it was quickly apparent that this mower is far superior to my old Lawnboy at mulching.

However, I must say that I'm a bit disappointed (and more than a little suspicious) at its apparent weakness in vacuuming or capturing cuttings.

My property is heavily wooded, so, even during the middle of the summer, there is always a good bit of leaves or other debris on my hard surface areas - patio, driveway, street at the front curb.

With my Lawnboy, I simply attached the side bag, lowered the cutting height as far as it will go, and start vacuuming.

The Lawnboy will work as well as any special purpose vacuum in this setup, and leave behind a perfectly vacuumed surface.

The Deere, set to its lowest cutting level, hardly captured any of the material I was trying to vacuum, and I could see that debris was escaping the deck at the front right of the deck.

With the Lawnboy, a driveway full of leaves would be swept clean and the ample-sized bag would fill to overflowing several times over.

Now, I didn't have a driveway full of leaves on which to test this new John Deere, but what was there to be picked up never made it to the rear bagger. It kept escaping out the front right. For the moment, I just used the mower as a blower and directed the debris to an area where I could just blow it off the hard surface into the yard.

But my experience makes me wonder if this machine is any good at picking up leaves at all. Is the rear bag just a decoration?

Fortunately, I have managed to get my old Lawnboy to start and definitely plan on keeping it (and figuring out why, after all these years, it suddenly decided to get stubborn with me).

But, for $250, I think the John Deere is a keeper. I just wonder what I can do to make it more versatile. The Lawnboy includes a shredder screen attachment that really reduces leaf volume - I'm guessing the mulching action of the Deere will suffice for this chore.

But that Lawnboy really does a job when called upon to vacuum and bag. What, if anything, can be done to improve the Deere?

I notice that, when fully lowered, the Deere's deck is still significantly higher off the ground than the Lawnboy in its lowest setting. No doubt this is a big part of the Deere's problem.

Suggestions most welcome.

Caruso






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 06-05-2010, 09:09 Post: 171345
carusoswi



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 JS46 Walk behind mower - will it vacuum/pickup leaves?

Oh, and in case you may be wondering, I did have that mulching block removed during my attempts to vacuum with the JS46.

I'll be out scouting for attachments today.

Caruso






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